Tag Archives: sleep

A Picture Says a Thousand Words: Sidecar Crib

DS sleeping in between the two beds.

This is the sidecar crib arrangement I mentioned in the previous post. You can see DS much prefer my bed than his own. *sigh*.

Since no safety bed rail fits my bed, there are futons around the bed (not shown) to prevent him from injury if he falls (which unfortunately has happened multiple times). I try to create a barrier with our comforter, but it only works to prevent DS from rolling in his sleep and is useless against him crawling. I also rush to him when I hear the slightest squeak from the baby monitor. Had I known this is what we’re doing, I might have bitten the bullet and bought a video baby monitor. (Our baby monitor was one of those really basic ones, given to us by one of DH’s coworker.)

Baby Sleep — Our Journey Thus Far

We hosted a party over the weekend, and a couple with a 9-week-old was among our guests.  Their LO cries all the time, and swaddling tight–SO TIGHT that only dad was able to do it–was the only thing that calm him a bit.  Day time drives mom (a SAHM) crazy.

Looking at them, it reminded me of our own nightmare with DS.  DS was colicky from about 3 weeks and on.  There were long, long crying spells, which unfortunately made DH frustrated and furious and, even more unfortunately, made him shout back at DS. Neither of which did I have the heart to withstand.  It was only later that I discovered part of his crying was from being overtired, and partly out of fear DH would blow up again, put DS to bed before DH came home from work.

It took all three of us some time to adjust.  After we have (correctly) diagnosed DS as being overtired, DH realized DS didn’t cry furiously on purpose–and especially the cry wasn’t directed at him–and in turn became more sympathetic. We became a happier family.

However, we still had troubles putting DS to sleep.  It routinely took over an hour to put DS to sleep, only to have him wake up in 1/2 hour for naps, and maybe 3 hours at night.  Eventually, I, out of desperation during DS’s 4-month growth spurt, started co-sleeping.  Co-sleeping was great to buy me and DS sleep, but at the expense of DH sleeping on the floor for months (initially we had no extra bed, and we were in the middle of moving).  It also created a very strong sleep association with nursing, to the point that DS wouldn’t fall asleep without it.

As of now, we have DS in sidecar bed (really just his drop-side crib tied to my side of the bed, without the drop-side).  DH gets his side of the bed back.  Our bedtime/naptime routine consist of me putting DS seated in his bed, then I lying down on my side of the bed, resulting in DS throws himself over me to nurse.  Most of the time, he would still be awake after nursing, so I hum lullaby and we cuddle (really mostly him rolling on my tummy) until he falls asleep.  DH and I have tested and we have agreed I am now the new sleep association instead of just nursing.

Ideally, I would like to remove myself from being the only person who can put DS to sleep.  However, as separation anxiety has kicked in, this is probably the new norm for a while.

As for my friend and their 9wo, I lent them my Woombie and they were happy to report it is working really well–their LO slept 5 hours straight for the first time.  Good for them; I only used it once and the snap broke.  (I replaced the metal snap with a resin snap using my snap press, acquired two weeks ago, before I gave it to them.)

Night Time Parenting

It’s 11:30pm. Guess what I’m doing?

I am actually lying on my bed nursing my DS back to sleep.

This has become such a common occurrence in our household: DS sleeps in the queen-sized bed, wakes up crying (heck, screaming), I rush back to his side and nurse him back to sleep.

Is it the “right” way to make him sleep? Far from it.

However, I can’t stand letting him cry to sleep.  Call me soft-hearted, weak-minded, whatever.  We tried it a few times, and it always ended up with me sobbing and him throwing up violently.  If, you as a parent, can withstand that scene, all the power to you.

Putting DS to sleep has always been a challenge.  When he was younger, we had to rock and walk around the room for over an hour to get him to fall asleep, only to wake him up half the time when we put him back into the crib.  There were nights when I was woken up by his cry, nursed him in an armchair, and fell asleep with him still in my arms and attached to my breast.

When DS was about four months old, there was a stretch of a few nights when he woke up on an almost hourly basis.  I became a sleep-deprived zombie.  At my wit’s end, I decided to start co-sleeping.  It bought me sleep despite his night wakings, but it also brought us the new problem of teaching him to fall asleep without nursing.

My husband has been booted off our bed and has been sleeping on the floor since I started co-sleeping with DS.  While he is understanding, he also warned me to “fix” the problem before I go back to work in November.  I can afford to lose a few nights of sleep now, but not when I’m working.

I bought the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night. I flipped through it once, but haven’t been able to follow the advice thoroughly: He was teething and we were moving.  Some tips I picked up and tried:

  • I have some success introducing a lovey, until my mom decided it was too gross and washed it without asking me anyway.
  • The combination of key phrase–repeatedly humming “Hush Little Baby”–and patting on his chubby thigh seems to induce sleep.  The success rate is about 1/3, higher when he has a full tummy.
  • The “Pantley Pull-Out” didn’t work the few times I tried; it moved him into a more awake and agitated state.

I am re-reading the book to come up with a solid plan.